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Arlington Classic Winner Silver Max Returns in Grade III American Derby Saturday
Mark Bacon & Dana Wells' Silver Max, winner of the $125,000 Arlington Classic, the first leg of the Mid-America Triple on May 28, returns to the local oval in pursuit of that series' second leg, the Grade III $200,000 American Derby on Saturday.
The American Derby will be run at a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington's world famous turf course and serves as the final local prep for the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat Stakes, which will be held Aug. 18 as part of the one-day International Festival of Racing.
The race is one of four major stakes that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program. In addition to the American Derby, the 12-race card includes the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap, the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap and the Grade III $150,000 Stars and Stripes. As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the American Derby will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Secretariat should they elect to run in that event next month.
Since winning the Arlington Classic in May, Silver Max was sent to Indiana Downs where he was a decisive victor in the $200,000 Oliver Stakes. The son of Badge of Silver is one of three entrants from the Dale Romans' stable – the other two being Albaugh Family Stable's Oliver Stakes runner-up Cozzetti and Michael Bruder's recent allowance winner Quick Wit, who was previously third in the Grade III Hutcheson on dirt at Gulfstream Park.
Robby Albarado has been named to ride Silver Max while Shaun Bridgmohan will be aboard Cozzetti and Alan Garcia is slated to partner with Quick Wit.
Cathy and Bob Zollars' Daddy Knows Best returns to the turf after finishing 10th in the Grade I Kentucky Derby, presented by Yum! Brands, and ninth in the Grade I Preakness Stakes. The Steve Asmussen-trained winner of the Grade III Sunland Derby would be trying turf for the first time in 2012 after winning two of six starts over the surface last year. Julien Leparoux will ride the son of Scat Daddy in the American Derby.
Manganaro LLC & Woodford Racing LLC's Sachem Spirit, runner-up in the Arlington Classic, could be tough with a better break than he experienced here in May when he was bumped and squeezed at the start, placing him much farther back than the son of Mr. Greely is used to. Corey Lanerie will ride the Neil Howard trainee.
Others in the field for the American Derby (with riders listed) are: Jim Tafel's All Stormy (Rosemary Homeister Jr.), third in an allowance race after finishing fifth in the Arlington Classic; Olympia Star's Macho Bull (Francisco Torres), third in the Grade III Iowa Derby two weeks ago; Bluegrass Hall's Skyring (Joel Rosario), winner of the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day; Ashbrook Farm's Southern Parkway (James Graham), a winner in a first-level turf allowance at Churchill Downs last out; and Midwest Thoroughbred's state-bred The Pizza Man, (Seth Martinez), winner of three straight in restricted company.